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Re: Take boards

Posted by Smokey Stover on January 16, 2004

In Reply to: Re: Take boards posted by Shae on January 13, 2004

: : : : Does anyone know the school where the order "take boards" is used or originated from???
: : : : I know that it now refers to physicians and other medical practicioners but was curious as to the origin.

: : : I don't know if this is the origin. But an old reference book I have says:

: : : "Board -- The 'boards,' or 'college boards,' in the English universities, are long wooden tablets on which the names of the members of each college are inscribed according to seniority, generally hung up in the buttery...Similar to this was the list of students which was formerly kept at Harvard College, and probably at Yale..." A "buttery" is "an apartment in a house where butter, milk, provisions, and utensils are kept. In some colleges, a room where liquors, fruit, and refresments are kept for sale to the students..." From ?A Collection of College Words and Customs?, Cambridge, published by John Bartlett, 1851. A handwritten notation in the book says ?by B.H. Hall.?

: : Back in Victorian Britain schools were run by 'Boards' - Boards of Govenors. There used to be a 'school board man' who would check that the kids were at school and not playing truant - he was greatly feared!
: : Could this be another clue as to the origin?

: Judging by an article on the Amednews website, 'take boards' seems to refer to a test for family physicians set by the American Board of Family Practice.

: 'The test is offered once a year. To guard against failure, sickness or a freak event like a missed plane, 50% of family physicians take boards a year before their seven-year certification expires, Dr. Avant said.'

: See: http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2000/07/31/prl20731.htm

Can't speak for the Brits, but American doctors wishing to practice take examinations prepared by licensing boards, one national (something like National Medical Licensing Board) and one for each state (e.g., State Medical Licensing Board for New Jersey). There may well be other "Board" examinations for different specialties or "Colleges" (like College of Physicians and Surgeons), and doubtless other professions have their own boards. In law, the "boards" are replaced by the bar examination. SS